The Queen's Tragedy

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She'd been doing so well...

Things had been rolling right along...

All the signs were auspicious...

It came from nowhere.

It stunned her soul...

She was sickening rapidly...

Her burden drove her into a strange solitude.

She met her friends from youth.

She met the love she had abandoned.

She met her King but he was a stranger to her.

~~~

She found herself, again, back with her youthful friends---cavorting in the forest, creating games no one fully understood, getting filthy, and taunting the approaching dark...

Staying in the forest after dark had its terrors but also its hidden rewards---faith could flourish while limbs quaked, the unreal threatened but friends protected...

~~~

He was the most delicious man---courteous but roguish---understanding of her feelings but a mystery to her---strong but tender.

She swore her undying love then disappeared from his life...

~~~

The King had found her wandering outside her village.

Smitten was the least that could be said of his response to her.

He consulted with her parents and they told her she would become the new Queen.

~~~

The King visited her in her chambers---lying in her sick-bed, wasted to a shadow.

She didn't know who he was...

~~~

They decided to play the hunting game.

She was chosen as the prey and hurried deeper into the forest...

~~~

He searched for her, years on end---travelled all known Kingdoms---found no trace...

~~~

The King called in the bleeder.

The King called in the healer.

The King watched her become a living corpse...

~~~

She was deeper in the dark of the forest then any of her friends had been.

She stumbled on a lump of fur and jumped out of her skin.

The creature unrolled its body and spoke to her:

"You will one day sicken.

"It will be because you traded love for security and riches.

"You will only have me to cling to."

~~~

The man was sitting in the shade of a familiar tree, near the place she had pledged her undying love.

A woman approached.

She told him she was the Queen's mother.

She told him his love was dying.

~~~

The King called in the priest.

The priest left screaming, saying a beast of the forest had attacked him...

~~~

She, in her death-throes, dreamed he had returned...

She spoke to her furry friend and he spoke in return:

"Now is the time the Great Spirit has bequeathed you---one chance left to reclaim your love..."

~~~

The man was disguised as an adept of the wizard of the north.

The man begged audience with the King.

The man said he had a magical invocation he needed to whisper in the Queen's ear; but, he must do it with no one else present...

~~~

She said good-bye to her furry friend and opened her eyes.

Her love was standing before her.

She cried herself to death...

~~~~~~~~~

There are two endings to this story:

She took her love for him to the next world and waited for him to join her.

Or, she died a failure in love.

Which ending do you believe?


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